Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 2010

Greetings from soggy Sao Paulo! The month of January was filled with rain, a continuing trend since November. Sao Paulo has received rain almost every day this month, which in turn has caused major flooding as the rain comes down too fast for the sewers to keep up, and sadly trash not being disposed of properly also clogs the paths where the rain needs to drain. On one day alone, there were 54 places in the city that were flooded. Roads are impassable, houses are flooded, and worse, the rain has caused mudslides, mostly in the poorer slum areas. People that barely had anything in the first place are now left with nothing. There have been close to 80 deaths since December due to flooding and mudslides. Thankfully the two neighborhoods I work in have not seen major damage, just small amounts of water in homes. Since I wasn't travelling much for work (as schools are closed this month) I wasn't affected by being in transit, though ironically I was out of water in my apartment one day, but other people were without water even longer.
This month I spent each Sunday working in Junior Church, where we held a Vacation Bible School during the entire service for the kids ages 4 - 9. This is the first year Calvary has done this, and everyone had a blast! The VBS theme was "Cosmic City", and the kids learned how awesome God is.

Each week the 'space voyagers' blasted off to "Theatre of the Galaxies" where they learned about God's creation, how God provided for the Israelites in the desert, how Jesus healed a lame man and how he walked on water, and best of all, how Jesus died and rose again! They also got to make cool things at the "SuperNova Craft Center", learn science experiments at "Wonder U Lab" and my favorite, play fun games at "Asteroid Alley" (I was the Games Director). The other two tour directors and I are tired, but it was well worth the effort. Our only concern is the kids might not want to return to the regular Jr Church programming next month!

I had a special visit from Pastor Eby of the Brazilian Church of Hope in Minneapolis, who was in Sao Paulo on a 10 hour layover, and arranged to meet me at a Starbucks of all places! We had a good visit, and I also got to meet another couple who had worked at Restoration Ministries, and are now interested in doing other work in the interior of Brazil. It was fun to catch up and hear how things are going at the growing church in Minneapolis as well as to share in person about my minstries here.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Celebrating Christmas and New Year's in São Paulo

I celebrated the holiday's with friends this year here in Brazil, with invitations and celebrations coming together at the last minute. Christmas eve included a beautiful candlelight service at church, followed by friends coming over to my apartment later in the evening to bring in Christmas and watch fireworks being shot off in the neighborhood. Christmas day was a lovely event at the home of my Pastor with his family and other church family, great food, singing Christmas carols and playing games. What a blessing they were to me, as I was rather sad at being away from family this year. They made me feel apart of their family!
New Year's Eve was spent reading aloud the book of Revelation at church, which is a yearly custom. Later I went to a friends for barbeque and more fireworks! Happy 2010!

Christmas Eve at my apartment

Christmas Day

Ringing in the New Year!